Full Figured Fashion Week™ kicks off tomorrow and we can’t wait! One designer making her FFFweek debut is Ashley Nell Tipton. Designer and owner of Ashley Nell Tipton Design Studio, Ashley will share her designs with the viewing public during the Indie Designer’s Showcase on June 15, 2012.
How long have you been designing?
Having been considered “Plus Size” Growing up, I never felt there was a place for me in the industry. I spent a lot of time looking through Vogue, but not really imagining that one day I would be involved in the capacity I am looking at now. I learned to sew on my grandmother’s sewing machine when I was just seven years old. I discovering my love of sewing when I would design clothes for my Barbie’s. For me the passion for design really blossomed at about 14 years old.
What was the biggest obstacle you had to overcome when launching your own line?
Achieving past the point of all those who denied my accomplishments like for instant those infamous words from Biggie Smalls “this for all the teacher’s who said I would never amount to anything” word for word to be honest that they wouldn’t see my pieces on actual plus size woman which I don’t agree.
What has your most significant moment been?
It’s a really great feeling having over 1000 “likes” over night on tumblr . Especially when to me, posting the pics on Tumblr was just a way of keeping my friends, and followers up to date on what I was up to, and a little intrigued as to what’s next from me. You know, there was a moment when I actually had to sit down, and cry because the response was so positive. I had people asking where they could buy my designs, and in a 24 hour period, I had over 100 new facebook requests! People I admired in the full figure industry asking to shoot my designs, and asking for interviews… It was a little mind blowing and also being approach to do this years full figure fashion week in New York City.
Why design plus size fashion?
I am passionate about being a plus size fashion designer because I, myself, am plus size and I want to let other plus size women know they are not alone and that I have the same story. I am the only one of my siblings who is plus size, and throughout my life I have struggled with acceptance from my family, and feeling different because of my size. It is one of my goals to help other full figured women feel good in what they wear and I hopes to be “THE” Full Fashion Designer. I understands what plus women want and would like to give curvy girls a chance to show their style with chic edginess. I would classify a lot of the plus size looks out there as “Plain Jane”, or “Cookie Cutter”. We want to be as individual as the so called “regular sized” girls, and with a lot of the looks out there, it is impossible for us to individualize our looks in our own way. Also, a lot of the full figure clothing isn’t really based on what is actually happening currently in the fashion industry, there is always a waiting period, or lag time while we ait for the designers to catch up.
What is your favorite current trend right now?
A Messy Bun, which I am guilty of wearing almost all the time, anytime, anywhere. Maxies skirts, chunky-bangles, Colored Jeans, Colorful Blazer, Dip Dye Hair which I have, Statement Necklace, Sheer Fashion which I love, & bright bold lips.
Are there really any fashion no-no’s? If so, what are they?
Some materials I find not quite faltering for example satin or suede another no- no would be where some women wear clothing a size one to small and are being squeezed into. But for the most part I think a woman is allowed to wear whatever she wants as long as she holds yourself with confidence.
Is there a trend that you could do without?
When leggings are used as a crutch as if leggings were pants if your going to use them use a long enough t-shirt to cover your butt or shrugs whether there long ones, short ones just in overall shrugs must go and I’m sorry snooki but boots with the furs yeah bye.
What inspires your designs?
My collection is a full figured collection for the woman in her 20’s or 30’s who is chic ! My collection is an artful combination of glamour and street fashion. I love color and I’m very inspired by curvy women and helping them feel good in their clothes. I want to offer plus size women the opportunity to wear fun colors and to avoid the pit-falls of only wearing black because many curvy girls think it is the only color that is slimming.
I chose to go against the plus size industry grain and created a collection that is full of bright hues and bold patterns. “I pictured my muse roaming the streets of Paris unabashed and feeling confident in their stride while wearing designs that are not seen in full figure fashions today. The finished line is filled with bold colors and finesse… just like me!
Which celebrity would you like to see your designs in?
Adele, Jennifer Hudson, Missy Eliot, Jill Scott, Jordin Sparks, Beth Ditto, Mo’Nique, Gabourey Sidibe, Amber Riley… “call me”
What can we expect from you during Full Figured Fashion Week?
Being from southern California, I have gotten to experiment with summer dressing for any season, and the idea of layers is really interesting to me. So the collection I am showing at FFFW, reflects that, it’s just the natural progression of my graduation collection. What that girl would wear in a warm spring rain, or on those sunny days when the temperatures are high, and by the time the sun goes down, it’s chilly… There are loads of layered chiffon, wrap style pants, and some really fun crochet pieces that I can’t wait to show!